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  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats
State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) faces a recall campaign
State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) faces a recall campaign (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State finance officials said Monday it would cost about $2.67 million for a special election on the recall of state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), but only $931,000 to put his potential recall on the regular June primary ballot, which will also feature races for governor and congressional seats.

The savings — and the time it took to complete the financial assessment — could give ammunition to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown to put the recall measure on the primary ballot, possibly improving Newman’s chance of staying in office. The higher turnout expected in the primary might benefit Newman as he tries to fend off the Republican recall drive.

The financial analysis was a new requirement of a law approved this year by the Democrat-controlled Legislature that has slowed the Newman recall. Brown and legislators now have 30 days to review the election cost report.

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Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas is greeted by activists at the state Capitol.ge.
Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas is greeted by activists at the state Capitol.ge. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Assemblymen Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) and Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) have agreed to pay fines to the state’s political watchdog agency for violating campaign finance rules, according to documents released Monday.

Ridley-Thomas has agreed to pay $3,500 in fines to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to properly report contributions he received for his 2014 election.

He failed to report a contribution of $7,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11, within 10 days as required by campaign finance rules, according to a report by the commission’s enforcement staff. He also failed to disclose contributions of $1,000 from PG&E and $8,200 from the Los Angeles County Firefighters Local 1014 Legislative Fund Committee within 24 hours, the report said.

  • 2018 election
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) speaks in Sacramento in August 2014.
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) speaks in Sacramento in August 2014. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The special election to replace Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) will be in spring 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday.

Brown said the primary election to replace Bocanegra would be April 3, with a potential runoff to follow June 5 — the same day as the state’s regularly scheduled primary election.

Bocanegra resigned last month amid a sexual misconduct investigation after multiple women accused him of making unwanted sexual advances. His resignation, combined with that of Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) under similar circumstances last week, put Democrats in the Assembly below the two-thirds supermajority threshold needed to pass tax increases and urgency legislation without GOP support. The soonest Democrats could regain that standing is after Bocanegra’s replacement is selected.

State officials have enlisted counter-culture comedian Cheech Marin to help educate Californians that if they want to start a business to grow, distribute or sell marijuana they have to register their business with the state.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla has created an online portal for cannabis firms to register and conduct other business with the state, including registering trademarks and converting non-profit entities into for-profit companies.

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control will begin issuing licenses to firms for growing and selling cannabis on Jan. 2, but one requirement is that they first register their business with the secretary of state.

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As California burns, Congress is planning to limit taxpayers' ability to write off losses from future wildfires and other disasters.

The disaster write-off is one of the many little-known deductions set to be mostly wiped out in the GOP tax plan, but it's getting fresh attention because of the fires that have devastated parts of Southern California over the last week.